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America

A light folk-rock act of the early '70s, America had several Top Ten hits, including the number ones "A Horse with No Name" and "Sister Golden Hair." Vocalists/guitarists Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley met while they were still in high school in the late '60s; all three were sons of U.S. Air Force officers who were stationed in the U.K. After they completed school in 1970, they formed an acoustic folk-rock quartet called Daze in London, which was soon pared down to the trio of Bunnell, Peek, and Beckley. Adopting the name America, the group landed a contract with Jeff Dexter, a promoter for the Roundhouse concert venue. Dexter had America open for several major artists and the group soon signed with Warner Bros. Records. By the fall of 1970, the group was recording its debut album in London, with producers Ian Samwell and Jeff Dexter.

"A Horse with No Name," America's debut single, was released at the end of 1971. In January 1972, the song -- which strongly recalled the acoustic numbers of Neil Young -- became a number three hit in the U.K. The group's self-titled debut album followed the same stylistic pattern and became a hit as well, peaking at number 14. Following their British success, America returned to North America, beginning a supporting tour for the Everly Brothers. "A Horse with No Name" was released in the U.S. that spring, where it soon became a number one single, pushing Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" off the top of the charts; America followed the single to the top of the charts. "I Need You" became another Top Ten hit that summer, and the group began work on their second album. "Ventura Highway," the first single released from this collaboration, became their third straight Top Ten hit in December of 1972. In the beginning of 1973, America won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1972.

Homecoming was released in January of 1973, becoming a Top Ten hit in the U.S. and peaking at number 21 in the U.K. America's essential sound didn't change with this record; it just became more polished. However, the hits stopped coming fairly soon -- they had only one minor Top 40 hit in 1973. Hat Trick, the group's third album, was released toward the end of 1973; it failed to make it past number 28 on the American charts. Released in the late fall of 1974, Holiday was the first record the group made with producer George Martin. Holiday returned America to the top of the charts, peaking at number three and launching the hit singles "Tin Man" and "Lonely People." "Sister Golden Hair," pulled from 1975's Hearts, became their second number one single. That same year, the group released History: America's Greatest Hits, which would eventually sell over four million copies.

Although America's 1976 effort Hideaway went gold and peaked at number 11, the group's audience was beginning to decline. After releasing Harbor to a lukewarm reception, Dan Peek left the group, deciding to become a contemporary Christian recording artist. The group continued as a duo; their last Martin-produced record, Silent Letter, was released in 1979 to little attention. America returned to the Top Ten in 1982 with "You Can Do Magic," an adult contemporary pop number that featured synthesizers along with their trademark harmonies. "The Border" became their last Top 40 hit in 1983, peaking at number 33. After releasing America in Concert in the summer of 1985, the group continued to tour successfully into the '90s, resurfacing in 1998 with Human Nature.

The early part of the new millennium saw America release not only a handful of live albums as well as a holiday-themed studio recording, but also the exhaustive, career-spanning box set Highway, released in 2000. On the heels of this renewed interest, America were tempted back into the studio in 2006 by longtime fans and musicians Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins. Although encouraging Bunnell and Beckley to stick to America's core sound, producers Schlesinger and Iha brought in younger musicians influenced by America to guest on the album, including Ryan Adams, Nada Surf, and others. Released in early 2007, Here & Now featured new material by America as well as covers written by bands heavily influenced by the soft rock pioneers. The duo of Bunnell and Beckley returned with the independently released covers album Back Pages in July 2011. That very same month, the duo's former bandmate Dan Peek died at his home in Missouri at the age of 60. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Amazing love it
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The way music should be. Great melody,harmo n i e s and lyrical hooks. Sounds fantastic after a couple good tokes ... . Yes, indeed, Peace.
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Vincent we all miss you. You loved 70's music! This one's for you
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1971 was in germany usaf...bitbu r g air base
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michelleholm e s 6 7
My 10 year has the lyrics memorized. Great song!
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So many great songs that seem to capture a place in time from this band...
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Great song when you're all bummed out
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Great band so many good tunes
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I love this group America one of my favorites group eveeeer, to bad they don't make music like this any more. My favorite is and I think everyone, Ventura highway. Bring good memories!��
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rodri_sparks
One of the best groups ever!! to bad not around any longer.
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Those where the days peace out
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As a devout traditional country music listener even I have to say that America was awesome. Sister Golden Hair is my favorite! Just like country, they don't make music like America did. Also loved Chicago and The Moody Blues. Nothing like that around anymore.
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What's the deal with all the potty mouth. You know that music is not trashy and the rest is just history. I just got to be honest with you on this one. You are the best thing. Love America.
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ENGAGED TO SISTER GOLDEN HAIR... LOST HER ON VENTURA HIGHWAY..

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I love this music!
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They don't make music like this anymore.
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ccdenney6
The early part of the new millennium did not start until 2001, not 2000.
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Sorry, love America but "Horse with no name" blows!!! Put that song and "American pie" in a crate and send them to Gilligan's Island. I bet they would find a way off just to run from both songs.
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Horse with no name...defin i t e l y one of America's best.

Truly a Harpoon Swordfisherm a n song...we all relate to looking for signs like temperature break ....jellyfis h eggs....rees o s . . . b a i t . . . e t c . . . .
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VENTURA HIGHWAY..BAB I E S . . . . YEASS::: VENTURA HIGHWAY...I' M GOING TO GO.. IN DECEMBER BABIES. YEA... I CAN'T WAIT. THAT'S HOME FOR ME.
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@erikmiller1 9 5 9 some of us young "poor" kids do know what good music is, because some of us listen to it. I would bet anything in the world that I know more about 60's-70's than you do, and I'm a young kid.
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Isn't it amazing that back then artist used to write their own songs, you poor kids now have no idea what real music is
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Nice, easy on the ears!!!!!
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tom7564
One of my favorite mellow rock groups. The harmony is awesome
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dragonlady60 8 8
good for the soul music"""!"!" ' ' '
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Ahhh the days... Thanks
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Great bunch if songs they put out!! Saw them just last year. Just to say I saw them. I was glad I did!!!
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I need u sandra
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Abra Cadabra
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Big Swordfish song.....cau s e you'd have to be there to understand
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Ok,Janet Jacksons "let's wait awhile"total l y ripped Daisy Jane off with the same tune
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Horse with no name sound of the 70s America was time to mellow
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milosdad
Sister Golden Hair. There were times in my teenaged life that were perfect and this song was usually playing.
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jeff.ward86
These guys were awesome with dozens of hits that we could remind u of. If u like this easy comfort rock, u would be simply amazed at the number of times u would be singing ur hearts out to. These were some of the best tunes ever. Don't cross the river of u can't swim the tide.
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Ventura Highway: YEA MY THEME SONG. I LOVE AND MISS MY HOMETOWN.. VENTURA.. VENTURA HIGHWAY...I' M GOING TO GO. I KNOW OWOWOWOWOW. THE FREE WIND IS BLOWING THROUGH MY HAIR. AMEN. YEA LORD.
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REST IN PARADISE, Dan Peek. : )
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Psmallone missin u my golden hair
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they used to put words to songs on here. trying to learn the words to classic songs
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zaidenterpri s e s
Great band. Wrote a great song about our little town. Fillmore, California. "Ventura Highway"
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Great band
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in the next 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in BIG letters this is so scary cud it actually works!Don't read this because it actually works. You will b
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One of the best of the era.
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Great group named after a great country
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God Bless America....
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sister golden .. jamming it now
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rncindy50
Good memories
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I wish this real, soulful music could come back.
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Greatest hits
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Oh yeah Ventura highway
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Love this..from young days
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